Bob Wilson and Joe Paduda have both covered this topic, but because I spent a significant amount of personal time and effort on this... and because I'm incredibly upset about it... I figured I'd pile on and write about it, too.
The International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions is a non-profit trade association representing government agencies charged with administering work comp systems, primarily here in North America. For over a year, they've been working on both model legislation and a model regulatory framework to provide guidance to states on how best to deal with the opioid crisis in work comp. I've commented on the those guidelines extensively (first here, then here). The models needed work, but IAIABC was moving in the right direction. And this is the mission of the organization, right? "To advance the efficiency and effectiveness of workers' compensation systems throughout the world..."
Now comes word that IAIABC's Executive Committee has put the models in a drawer, failing to approve the model language that had been worked on for the past year.
(You can find a list of Executive Committee members here. See if your state is represented!)
The IAIABC told Mr. Paduda that the "models would be overreaching on the part of IAIABC... We believed the consequences of advancing this prescriptive approach could potentially harm jurisdictions more than help."
That is absolute nonsense and an abject failure on the part of this organization.
I cannot understand how "model" legislation would in any way harm a jurisdiction. Can the elected leaders in any one of our great states not resist the vast power and influence of the IAIABC? Is there no way that a suggested regulatory framework could be changed to the suit the needs of a specific jurisdiction? Does the IAIABC hold such incredible sway over state legislatures throughout the land that the mere mention of controlling opioid abuse through model laws would cause political, cultural, and clinical mayhem?
The IAIABC thinks too highly of itself. They had an opportunity to take the high road on this incredibly important issue and show their membership that it takes courage, fortitude, and intelligence to deal with this issue. Instead, they punted.
On the IAIABC web site, there is a list of Current Issues. There are only four items on that list. "Opioid Abuse in Workers' Compensation" is one of them.
They should remove that immediately.
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